Brad Dell, author and cystic fibrosis patient, continues his personal account as he prepares to undergo a lung transplant.
Last week I wrote about how lung transplantation isn’t the Boogeyman I once thought it was. After I had done my research, I finally considered being evaluated for a transplant. My doctors and I expected it to be at least a couple years before I’d need one, but an infection in my port-a-cath sent my body into septic shock and made the need for new lungs urgent. So, keep in mind that a transplant evaluation process is often slower than mine. Each transplant center also has its own process.
My CF doctor in Hawaii began calling transplant centers in June 2016 while I was still suffering septic shock. Center after center rejected me without even looking at my records because I was culturing mycobacterium abscessus (most centers won’t transplant when the patient has this), and my septic shock complicated things. There is such a thing as being “too sick” for transplantation. Other reasons for rejection are lack of social support, lack of financial means, weighing too little or much, etc. The University of California at San Francisco was the only center willing to take the risk with me — and it ultimately paid off!